1. Eleven-year-old Orlando, from Newcastle, NSW, recently wrote this impassioned letter to the prime minister of Australia.
Dear Tony Abbott
My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow “gay marriage” in Australia. Because the majority of Australians are happily married, so why are you stopping all the gay men/women to be married in this beautiful country?
My mother is gay and even worse your own sister is gay! And thousands more are as well. You have actually met my mum (Councillor Cordelia Troy) who is a member of the Liberal Party and she was deputy major at the time. It is so pathetic that you aren’t letting the gay people of Australia and other countries get married here. Millions of people in the world and when they come to Australia and think “wow this place is great! Let’s get married here!” And then they remember that they can’t. So they spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere they can get married. My mum is married but she had to go to New York, which took a lot of money.
You were elected to represent our country, not yourself. Just because you think it’s wrong, does not give you the right to make it illegal. Doesn’t our opinions matter to you? Just because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power.
I hope you change your mind.
2. A few days later, he received this response from Tony Abbott.
Thank you for letting me know your views about same sex marriage.
I appreciate the deep feelings that many in the community have on either side of the issue.
The Government supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act 1961. Any change to this policy would be a matter for the Coalition Party Room.
My personal opinion is to support the existing definition of marriage.
Though we disagree on this issue, I respect the views you have put forward.
Ongoing dialogue between government and citizens keeps our democracy strong.
Thank you again for writing to me.